Mrs Miniver Comes Home.....

Thursday, 6 October 2011

.....with the wrong chrysanthemums.
The opening chapter of Mrs Miniver which you can read here, describes how she comes home one sunny October afternoon with a big sheaf of chrysanthemums. For the last few Octobers I have searched in vain for bronze coloured chrysanths like Mrs Miniver's. Today I found these (at Sainsbury's) and felt that they were as close as I was going to get to the elusive Miniver chrysanths.


After I had put them in a jug I went and found my copy of Mrs Miniver and discovered I'd misremembered the description.

'the big mopheaded kind, burgundy-coloured, with curled petals' 

Burgundy, not bronze.
Luckily my chrysanths are a range of autumnal colours including both burgundy and bronze. But they are not, unfortunately, big, mop-headed, or with curled petals.





I do agree with Mrs Miniver about how gratifying it is to settle back into the rhythm of one's life after the interruption of summer, and, like her I am enjoying my forties more than my thirties (probably something to do with the age of my children).  

Purely by coincidence, because I rarely buy baked goods, I bought some crumpets for the children to eat when they return from school.  I'd forgotten that Mrs Miniver also had crumpets for tea.

I thought I'd better sample one before giving them to the children


I know what my next read will be.

19 comments:

  1. Ooh, what a delightful thought ... having never read Mrs Miniver I shall root out a copy too :D And I couldn't agree more that summer is an interruption and that the fifth decade is a good thing. I have a birthday next week ... tipping into my fifties I'd say that they're not so bad either :D And they might not be Miniverish, your chrysanth's, but they are lovely, and very autumnal.

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  2. I've been reading it on-line:
    http://home.zipworld.com.au/~lnbdds/Miniver/contents.htm
    Just click on the little buttons at left of the chapter title.

    Well, your flowers and the crumpet are calling out to me from my screen so I guess I'll have to go shopping tomorrow.

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  3. Mrs Miniver is very enjoyable whether you watch the film or read the book but not the same.

    I too prefer my forties to my thirties but I remember being told at thirty by a couple of fifty year olds that they were enjoying life more than they ever had. So apparently it gets better and better. I loved it when my daughter was little and in fact I miss that a little bit but there are compensations for getting older, which is a good job too.

    I used to prefer muffins to crumpets but my daughter loves only crumpets. I eat them rarely but I must say I do enjoy them every now and then.

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  4. Mrs Miniver is one of my comfort reads - funnily enough I was thinking just the other day that I wanted to read it again. I love the buying of her diary. I feel exactly like her then!
    I am fifty next year and am already glossing my fourties with a nostalgic glow...Still onward & upward as my mother likes to say.
    Lovely post x

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  5. Isn't there a passage in Nella Last's diary when someone buys her a bunch of expensive chrysanths and she's disappointed because they're different, clashing colours rather than all-bronze or copper? Can't find my copy or I'd have a look.

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  6. I can picture her chrysanthemums but like you have never found them in the shops. It's a great read but have you ever read The Real Mrs Miniver by Ysenda Maxtone Graham? Quite thought provoking.

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  7. No, I haven't read that one Lucille, I know Ysenda Maxtone Graham is Joyce Anstruther's (Jan Struther) grandaughter though. Should I read it or will it spoil Mrs Miniver for me?

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  8. I hate chrysanthemums.
    I love crumpets.
    Ax

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  9. Sue, I am rushing to the library or Amazon quick smart to get a copy of Mrs. M. - just up my street - a proper comfort read! I just adore chrysanths and their smell but you are right it is very difficult to get those big blowsy ones - I shall search at the market tomorrow! I am just re-reading The Shell Seekers by Rosamund Pilcher - such a lovely read!

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  10. I'm with Annie, (tipping -very shortly- into my fifites that is). I loved Mrs Miniver (virago publish).
    The colours of your flowers are wonderful!

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  11. Thank you so much for introducing me to Mrs Miniver! It's in my amazon basket. Another almost-50 here, what good company here! I bought the chrysanthemums (simple ones) and sunflowers that are gracing my mantle at S'burys too. Simple pleasures....

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  12. I had my first crumpet in a charming little shop in Seattle, Washington USA - at the Pike Place Market - a wonderful and exciting place with guys who throw fish and there are flower stalls and craft market and all manner of wonderful things. One time I decided to make my own crumpets and ended up with hundreds of them. Yummy! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  13. Love mums...
    Love crumpets ...
    Love Mrs. Miniver !!!

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  14. The flowers are gorgeous, burgandy or not. Perhaps you subliminally remember Mrs Miniver had crumpets and that's why the landed in your food trolley. Crumpets, just love them!
    Anne xx

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  15. Quality control, excellent reason for eating yummy food.

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  16. I think it does spoil it a little Sue. But in some ways it's also an acerbic antidote to some of the slightly smug moments in Mrs Miniver. I'd say give it a go. I think you'd appreciate the sidelong view.

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  17. I discovered Mrs Miniver earlier this year and adore that first chapter. Wonderfully atmospheric.

    My advice for proper chrysanths...try a farmer's market or better still a small greengrocer. There were tons at the one in Ashbourne today where I went for a mooch with my friend. But my Ludlow ones are still on the go (I went again last week, get over there Sue!) and, although a little smaller than Mrs Ms are beautiful, so I treated myself to shalias today £1.80 a bunch. Bargain!

    Have smashing weekend.
    Stephx

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  18. Pati from London5:13 pm BST

    Hello Sue, I'm not too keen on chrysanthemums but I love crumpets...I coincidentally had one just for lunch yesterday. I made myself a salad of goat's cheese and figs on a bed of rocket with a balsamic vinegar and olive oil vinagrette that was yum but then, on the side, I ate an eggy crumpet. What is that? (you may wonder..) I basically saw the crumpet recipe on an interesting food blog called "feeding boys and a firefighter". Basically, you put a bit of butter on a pan, cover the crumpet with egg and then cook it gently for a few minutes. It was nice and a good accompaniment to the salad. x Pati

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  19. I'm about halfway through Mrs Miniver now after receiving the book from Amazon on Thursday. Thank you for introducing her to me via your blog! I don't always agree with all her opinions, but I love her style of writing and how she views the world. The book is gentle and thought-provoking at the same time.

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